troubleshooting Question

Troubleshooting a macbook that doesn't boot after falling on the floor

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Apple HardwareApple OSLaptops NotebooksStorage Hardware
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Trying to work on a friend's macbook.  The hard drive (160GB) and  optical drive both have october 2008 production dates.  It has 2 GB of ram (2 sticks, each 1 GB).

It was working fine till last night when it fell off a bed onto the floor.

It would only beep 1x every 5 seconds, no video display at startup.  Googling says 1 beep means no ram

I opened it up, reseated ram (both were in there securely already) and same 1 beep.

Saw also to remove / replace the 4 screws holding the RAM connector.  Did that, no change.

I happen to have a macbook around the same era.  Took the 2 sticks of 2 gb from there and installed in this problem mac.

It would start -white screen w apple logo, but then logo changed to circle with diagonal line in it. and loop through those 2 - apple and circle every 10? 20? seconds.  So that shows the screen works and not cracked.  ANd that the existing RAM failed? I try 1 stick from original machine and still get beep 1x every 5 seconds (is the top or bottom RAM slot the 'first' if you only have 1 stick?)

I am much more familiar with windows PCs.

I  tried holding option, command, R and P at start, and  Tried option R and just option. I think the first 2 it doesn't even boot (no white screen). With just option, I get a picture of a hard drive. clicking on that and /or the arrow below it gets nothing.

Being almost 10 year old machine, I kinda want to call it quits, but don't want him taking it somewhere else and they take 2 seconds and it's working again!  (a pride thing).

I can take the working hard drive out of the other working Mac and see what happens.  but every step a) takes time to get to hard drive b) takes time to put back together if it doesn't work and he wants it back.  and c) even if it works, so we get him another hard drive cause his died. And RAM?   Is tall that hat and the labor to install OS worth it on a 10 year old machine.

is there a way to boot off a thumb drive / similar to test this hard drive to see if anything is on it / if smart indicators show a problem or do I have to swap the drives then test the drive in a windows system?
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

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